Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production

Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production

by Jonathan Kern
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0226431770

ISBN-13: 9780226431772

Pub. Date: 07/01/2008

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Perhaps you’ve always wondered how public radio gets that smooth, well-crafted sound. Maybe you’re thinking about starting a podcast, and want some tips from the pros. Or maybe storytelling has always been a passion of yours, and you want to learn to do it more effectively. Whatever the case—whether you’re an avid NPR listener or you aspire

Overview

Perhaps you’ve always wondered how public radio gets that smooth, well-crafted sound. Maybe you’re thinking about starting a podcast, and want some tips from the pros. Or maybe storytelling has always been a passion of yours, and you want to learn to do it more effectively. Whatever the case—whether you’re an avid NPR listener or you aspire to create your own audio, or both—Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production will give you a rare tour of the world of a professional broadcaster.

Jonathan Kern, who has trained NPR’s on-air staff for years, is a gifted guide, able to narrate a day in the life of a host and lay out the nuts and bolts of production with equal wit and warmth. Along the way, he explains the importance of writing the way you speak, reveals how NPR books guests ranging from world leaders to neighborhood newsmakers, and gives sage advice on everything from proposing stories to editors to maintaining balance and objectivity. Best of all—because NPR wouldn’t be NPR without its array of distinctive voices—lively examples from popular shows and colorful anecdotes from favorite personalities animate each chapter.

As public radio’s audience of millions can attest, NPR’s unique guiding principles and technical expertise combine to connect with listeners like no other medium can. With today’s technologies allowing more people to turn their home computers into broadcast studios, Sound Reporting couldn’t have arrived at a better moment to reveal the secrets behind the story of NPR’s success.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226431772
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
07/01/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
380
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents


Foreword     ix
Preface     xv
Sound and Stories     1
Fairness     8
Fair, Accurate, Complete, and Honest     9
The Echo Chamber     10
Verifying Assertions     16
Getting Both Sides     21
Avoiding Loaded Language     23
Writing for Broadcast     25
Write the Way You Speak     27
How to Sound Like a Real Person     29
Other Newswriting Tips     33
Reporting     39
The Reporter's Personality and Skills     40
Developing News Sources     42
Other Sources of Original Stories     45
Getting People on Tape     48
Getting Great Actualities     51
Working on Tight Deadlines     56
Beyond Acts and Tracks     60
A Storytelling Sampler     64
Field Producing     73
Getting Started     74
In the Field     77
Finding Sound and Scenes     80
Putting the Story Together     83
Filing from the Field     86
Taking Responsibility     90
Story Editing     92
The Editor's Role     92
The Ingredients of a Story     93
Structuring the Story     97
Editing by Ear     99
The Intro     102
The First Track     105
Copyediting     108
The Ending     112
When to Stop Editing     113
Finding New Approaches to Old Stories     115
The Reporter-Host Two-Way     120
The Problem with Scripted Two-Ways     121
Going Scriptless     126
Two-Way Tips     129
Reading on the Air     132
Sounding Conversational     133
Marking Up a Script     135
Getting Physical     137
The Need for Feedback     138
Hosting     141
The Host's Day     142
The Host Interview     146
Reading Scripts Other People Write     161
Hosting Live Programming     163
Newscasting     171
What Is News?     171
Public Radio Newscast Values and Principles     174
Composing the 'Cast     176
Newscast Writing     179
The NPR News Spot     184
The Reporter Q&A     189
On the Air     192
Booking     195
Booking Well-Known People     196
Booking Everyday People     200
The Booker as Detective     202
The Pre-interview     204
Final Steps     207
Producing     210
Finding and Pitching Stories     211
Producing Interviews     216
Editing Interviews     219
Mixing Reporter Pieces     223
Producing Music Pieces     228
Production Ethics     232
The Unkindest Cuts     233
Other Production Issues     240
Program Producing     248
The Art of the News Program     249
Creating the Lineup     252
Producing Live Programs     258
Program Editing     266
Setting the News Agenda     267
Error Checking     270
Massaging the Script     273
Sitting In on Interviews     281
The Editor as Manager     284
Commentaries     287
Finding Commentators     288
Topical Commentaries     290
Personal Commentaries     292
Editing Commentaries      293
Coaching Commentators     295
Commentary Intros     297
To Comment or Not to Comment?     298
Studio Directing     300
The Director as Number Cruncher     301
The Director as Conductor     302
Directing Live Events     309
The Joy of Directing     311
Beyond Radio     313
The Web-Radio Relationship     314
The Manifold Media of the Web     318
Podcasting     324
Editorial Issues Online     328
The Future     331
Glossary     335
Pronouncers     355
Index     359

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